Giving to CREOL CREOL, The College of Optics & Photonics

Active, User-Controlled Color-Changing Fabric

Globe News Wire Press Release: CREOL, The College of Optics & Photonics at The University of Central Florida, Introduces the Textile Industry’s First Active, User-Controlled Color-Changing Fabric

CREOL, The College of Optics & Photonics at The University of Central Florida (UCF), today announces the first-ever, active user-controlled color-changing fabric. The fabric, developed by a team of UCF scientists, allows the user/wearer to change the color or pattern of the fabric through their smartphone.

This color change differs from previous “color-changing” fabrics on the market, which contain LEDs that emit light of various colors. Instead, CREOL’s ChroMorphous technology enables a never-before-seen capability: user-controlled, dynamic color and pattern change in large woven fabrics and cut-and-sewn textile products. Each thread woven into the fabric incorporates within it a thin metal micro-wire. An electric current flows through the micro-wires, thus slightly raising the thread’s temperature. Special pigments embedded in the thread then respond to this modification of temperature by changing its color.

For the first time ever, the technology allows the user to control both when the color change happens and what pattern to appear on the fabric. Using an app, the consumer can choose from a variety of patterns and colors to suit their need or mood – all from the tap of a button on their smart device. For example, a solid purple tote bag now has the ability to gradually add blue stripes when you press a “stripe” button on your smartphone or computer, or switch to a solid blue.

“Although clothing has been a staple of the human experience for millennia, the basic structure and functionality of textile fibers and yarns have remained unchanged throughout history,” said Dr. Ayman Abouraddy, Professor of Optics & Photonics at UCF. “The capabilities of electronics constantly increase and we always expect more from our iPhones, so why haven’t textiles been updated? Can we expect an ever-expanding range of functionalities from our clothing? These were the questions we asked, and the foundation for creating the ChroMorphous technology that we began developing in 2016. We are excited to introduce the industry’s first color-changing fabric, as we believe it’s the next groundbreaking innovation in fashion and textiles.”

The technology is scalable at mass-production levels via a process known as fiber-spinning and is currently produced in Melbourne, Florida, with CREOL’s collaborators at Hills, Inc. The CREOL team is currently working with Hills to further reduce the diameter of the threads to produce fabrics for wide-scale market adoption. Ultimately, the patent-pending fabric has the ability to be used across a broad range of applications from clothing and accessories to furniture and fixed installations in housing and business décor.

CNBC Video: Smartphone-controlled, color-changing fabric is coming to your clothes...

CNET: WEARABLE TECH: Color-changing smart clothes will make you a chameleon

Daily Motion: Watch this smart fabric change color at the touch of an app

DigitalTrends: With ChroMorphous technology, clothes may soon change color with a tap of a phone

VentureBeat: This amazing fabric can change its color on demand

Mashable: You'll feel like a chameleon with this new color-changing fabric: Scientists invented an electronic color-changing fabric that looks like it's from the future

Engadget: Self-striping smart cloth is HyperColor for the 21st century

Government Technology: Changing the color of your clothes could one day be as easy as what? Answer: A tap on your smartphone

Orlando Sentinel:  UCF researchers develop color-changing fabric

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Chromorphous website

Posted Wednesday, May 16, 2018

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